He Loves Me He Loves Me Not (French: À la folie... pas du tout) is a 2002 French film directed by Laetitia Colombani and starring Audrey Tautou.
The film follows Angélique, a successful art student who has just won a prestigious scholarship. In between creating her art projects, she has a part-time job at a cafe and house sits for a wealthy vacationing family. Angélique is in love with Loïc, a handsome cardiologist. Loïc is married and his wife is pregnant, but Angélique insists to her friends who know about the affair that Loïc will soon leave his wife for her.
There are twists a-hoy. Best to watch it and enjoy.
This film provides examples of:
- Anger Montage: After Loïc and his wife get back together, Angélique trashes the house she's staying in, including destroying the glass cover to the rose bush that can only survive in a controlled environment.
- Artistic License Law: A person incarcerated in a mental hospital because of a series of violent crimes is unlikely to ever be released, never mind only a few years after the incidents in question.
- Bait the Dog: Angélique. It looks like she's a girl scorned by her lover, who's just using her while staying with his wife. Nope, she's a psycho who he met in passing who's obsessed with him.
- Chekhov's Gun: The statuette of the human heart on Loïc's office desk, which Angélique uses to bludgeon him near the end of the film.
- Childhood Friend Romance: David, the Unlucky type who clearly loves Angélique but gets blown off (and even used) because she's in love with Loïc.
- CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Loïc performs this on Angélique after her attempted suicide. They cut away from whether he has his arms straight or not. The technique is overall good, and it does show him doing it for several minutes with not response before she draws breath.
- Downer Ending: At the end of the film, Angélique is on her way to be reunited with Loïc, and it's evident that she has not been taking her medicine.
- Driven to Suicide: Halfway through the film, after it becomes clear that Loïc does not plan on leaving his wife, Angélique turns on the gas and lies down on the kitchen floor.
- Dr. Jerk: Loïc. Turns out it's subverted when the perspective is switched.
- Genre Shift: At the beginning of the film, it appears to be a tale of a mistress seeking to win over the heart of her man. By the end of the film, we learn that there was no affair. It was all in her head.
- Hard Head: Averted. At the end of the film, years after having sustained a concussion when Angélique bludgeoned him with the heart statuette, Loïc is seen walking with a cane with some difficulty - evidently there was indeed some kind of brain damage caused by the blow.
- Or he fell awkwardly when she struck him, damaging his legs or spine.
- Hospital Hottie: Loïc, so much so that one of his patients repeatedly comes back and demands that he examine her (as she immediately removes her shirt), despite his protests that her heart is fine. It turns out not to be after a scuffle with Angelique exacerbates it, though without the additional stress it would probably have been fine.
- Insanity Defense: Angélique is found not guilty of her crimes on account of that she is too mentally ill to understand the consequences of her actions.
- Internal Reveal: The audience finds out what's going on long before Loïc does.
- Mad Love: The Reveal of the movie.
- Meaningful Name: Angélique is french for angelic, which fits with her kind nature. And then we all learned that she was psycho.
- Once More, with Clarity!: The second half of the film is a protracted one of these.
- One Dialogue, Two Conversations: Loïc and David's confrontation in Loïc's office.
- Perspective Flip: The first half of the movie is from Angélique's perspective as she pursues a man who she is sure will leave his wife for her. The second half is Loïc dealing with his life being torn apart by an obsessed stalker who he's exchanged only a handful of words with.
- Protagonist-Centered Morality: What the movie falls into during the first half, but gets turned on its head after the Perspective Flip.
- Red Herring:
- For Loïc, but not the audience. He variously suspects a colleague of his and one of his more persistent patients of stalking him.
- Loïc also mentions a one-night stand he had a while back, leading the audience to think it might have been with Angélique. It's not. She fell for him just because he handed her a flower.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Nat King Cole's "L-O-V-E" is used repeatedly throughout the film, and eventually it takes on a rather sinister feeling because of the contexts in which it is heard.
- Stalker Shrine: Angélique has created a very... artistic one. She creates another one from her pills in the asylum.
- Stalker with a Crush: Angélique
- Tap on the Head: An unusually realistic example. Loïc is shown suffering consequences from the blow years later.
- Through the Eyes of Madness: Subtly done. Nothing surreal is seen, but the narration follows Angélique's skewed perspective.
- Two-Act Structure: The rise and fall of Angélique.
- Unreliable Narrator: Angelique's perspective makes Loic come across as a jerk and uncaring, if not outright cruel. When perspectives are switched, we find out that's not the case and he's got a lot going wrong for him.
- Wham Line: Loïc: "Have we met?"
- Yandere: Angélique, that sweet kind girl you have been following? She goes off the deep end and becomes Ax-Crazy.